At the end of March 2020, a nation-wide lockdown was announced in the UK due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Everyday life as it had been known up to then was fundamentally disrupted and overnight, changed. With legal orders requiring people to work from home and only a category of ‘essential workers’ allowed to provide food and healthcare, the rest of the nation retreated indoors. Presenting a series of diary entries collected from April to July 2020, this paper explores how a 76-year-old woman, Beth Peters, documented the effects of the lockdown on her, her family, and friends. From the struggle to get food safely delivered, the problem of greenfly on tomatoes, and the pivotal role online bridge played in keeping her ‘occupied’ and ‘busy’ – her diary accounts reveal the importance of everyday practices in maintaining a sense of normality during exceptional times. Digital bridge features as a constant companion when interactions with family and friends are reduced to phone calls and a distant wave from the garden. This chapter demonstrates, in micro detail, the significance that personal leisure and situated diary writing plays in enabling everyday life to continue during a pandemic.
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Snellgrove, M. & Punch, S. 2022, 'Bridge during a time of disruption: Pandemic playing, everyday habits and situated writing', Transforming Leisure in the Pandemic: Re-imagining Interaction and Activity during Crisis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003262503-11